Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Conversational Non Sequiturs of Urban Life

While my personal bundle of glee was away making whoopee with his fellow Prince fanatics in Minneapolis, I was left alone in the Wicked City with a veritable Roman orgy of temptations right outside the door.

I chose mostly to knit and to draw.

I'll pause for a moment so that you can get over your shock.

On Sunday I decided to head out to a local coffee shop to work on the edging of the lace sampler stole. Don't ask me to justify this impulse towards coffee shop knitting, when I could perfectly well knit at home where the chocolate milk is cheaper and baby strollers are verboten. Must be a city boy thing. I like to people-watch. As repellent as I usually find the public en masse, individually it's often fun to spy on them over the top of whatever I'm knitting.

I decided last week that the lace sampler stole was officially long enough (translation: I'm sick of it) and that it was time to try my first knitted-on edging. After a brief flirtation with Alpine II from Heirloom Knitting, I ripped back and switched to Doris.

As all of you know who don't knit only in the living room with the shades pulled down, doing your thing in public not infrequently leads to questions. So I wasn't alarmed when the distinguished older (mid-70s, I would guess) gentleman in the tweed jacket leaned over and asked, "Is that knitting?"

I won't record the bulk of the ensuing dialogue because you can already guess most of it.

Yes it is. What are you making. Lace sampler. Hard to do. Sort of tricky but not really hard once you get used to it oh I would never have the patience believe it or not it's relaxing once you get used to it my aunt wilma used to make crochet doilies oh did she really yes but I never learned how but I always was curious. Etcetera.

Quite a lot of etceteras, in this case.

I started to suspect something odd was afoot when we'd reached the third or fourth logical point in the conversation at which I could have gracefully gone back to my knitting (which was literally about to turn a corner - most exciting) and he to his newspaper. But he didn't make a move to excuse himself. So, at last, I did. And he ignored it.

"I have many friends who quilt," he said.

"Ah," I said, pointedly consulting my chart.

"I think it must be wonderful to be able to make beautiful things," he said.

"I quite enjoy it," I said, trying to knit in such a way as to communicate the message, "You need to shut up now, please."

"Do you know what I enjoy?" he asked.

"I have a feeling you're going to tell me," I said.

He did. He leaned closer and dropped his voice to a husky, coffee-scented whisper.

"Jock straps," he said. "I was just across the street at that adult store and wow...they sure have lots of jock straps. Maybe you could knit me a jock strap."

First Panopticon Blog Contest Ever

I wish, my dears, that I could tell you a clever rejoinder (instead of the cookie I had just eaten) leapt to my lips. But it didn't.

Rather than tell you what I said, I want you to fill in the blank.

Pretend, for a moment, that you're me.*

What should I have responded?

Don't put your entry in the comments. Send your entry to: franklin at franklinhabit daht cahm.

In a couple of days I'll post the winner. Not sure what the prize is yet. It won't be a knitted jock strap.

*Just for a moment. Any longer, and you risk permanent injury.


Carol said...

You're hot, Franklin. No two ways about it. Even perves can see it. It's the cross you have to bear in this life.

Cheryl:) said...


Rana said...

Oh, MAN. That is the funniest and weirdest thing I've encountered today. Hee!

Anonymous said...

I finally had to post.

In such a situation the only real response one can make is: "If I could make one, it would cost you $15 materials and $2475 labor. However cotton would not be elastic enough and wool would just be too itchy so you can see it will never work out. Sorry I couldn't help you. Now I really need to finish this for my husband (bf, so, hot lover)."

Anonymous said...

Obviously, I don't read instructions well. That's why I make up most of my own patterns.


Unknown said...

I just want to know what you really said.

You hot piece of man flesh.

Anonymous said...

Ah, the joys of the general public. Serves you right for not being sociallyphobic about your knitting.

Rabbitch said...

Thank you. Thank you so much for making me spit on my screen, yet again.

I shall think of something suitable and email you. I'm a total slut for a conteast, as you well know.

Anonymous said...

I think the perfect prize would be a drawing of you as your admirer shared that confidence.

goblinbox said...

OMG, too funny!

Kate said...

This is excellent. I wish I had a witty rejoinder but I don't.

My guess is: you do! Just tell us already!

Ok, Ok, I'll try:

"If you don't want your huevos to be rancheros, I suggest you back up slowly"

"Sorry, this isn't my day to be your handmaiden. I suggest you look elsewhere for your knitted-jockstrap-fantasy-fullfillment"

"Oh I'm SO glad you said that because I was just dying to tell you that *I* have a little fantasy of my own: in which you leave me alone and I get to concentrate on what I was doing before you started pestering me!"

"I think you must have me confused with a sleazy-desperate-lonely person".

"Right, I'll get right on that! Why don't you get a donkey, some duct tape and a baseball bat and meet me at no special place and I'll be there at no particular time!" (that last part is stolen from a Mose Allison song).

Well, none of these is very funny, I'm afraid. And faced with such a situation in real life I would very likely stare openmouthed at the guy until I got up and walked away, wishing I'd said one of those things or even ANYTHING but I was too stunned to respond.

That's only one of many reasons why I prob. wouldn't make a very good guy guy. I admire the gay guy wit immensely, but I just don't have it in me.

Anonymous said...

franklin--i want to send you my entry but your contact doesn't work--what is your email address or how should i go about doing that? thanks! bess

Franklin said...

Hi Bess - try going to my Web site (there's a link in the sidebar) and using the e-mail address listed there. It should do the trick.

Yvonne said...

I laughed so hard I cried...and coughed and choked...omg that was hysterical. Thank you Franklin...this was a dreary day before I read your blog!

Anonymous said...

I was laughing so hard my business partner wanted to know why- unfortunately, he didn't get it. I want to see a picture of your shawl!

Anonymous said...

There was a competition held 1 year at Meg Swansen's Knitting Camp, and the topic was "Knitted Undergarments". One of the participants did a hot pink angora g-string (not quite a jock, I know). She used to work on it while travelling with her husband in the car, and he would beg her to put it away.

Imagine the coffee shop conversations you'd have if you were to work a jock-strap.

Anonymous said...

How did I miss this? God, I hate bloglines...I knitted a freaking bunny thong and I missed a request for you to knit a jock strap???

I, too, am dying laughing. But I also have to agree with Carol. He had to come up with a knitting-appropriate come-on line because, my dear, you are, despite your worries about baseball caps and noses, freaking hot.

I'll think on this and e-mail you. Although someone probably already came up with what I'm thinking.

Big hug, sweetie. Coffee shop knitting has its risks. I won't even tell you what someone asked me about my spindle...

And does Blogger just TRY to make me die laughing, or is "cuqbums" as my word verification just a coincidence?

WandaWoman said...

That is so freaking funny, I can't even stand it! As you mentioned how the conversation kept going on longer and longer, I had a feeling he was going to hit on you. Wow, so crazy.

Anonymous said...

Well... since you clearly want the idiot to go away....

Well, I'm only knitting lace right now, and ordinarily lace isn't quite up to snuff for jock straps, but since yours obviously won't be holding much in, I suppose I could try. Meet me back here in ... oh.... let me see, March of 2007. I've got back orders you know, but yours should be done by then.

Anonymous said...

Damn. See Franklin, the age of chickens and hawks is relative. Never complain about getting old again.

I hope this doesn't discourage you from going out to knit. It's boring knitting at home, sometimes.

But do keep a set of 14" aluminum needles with you. The next time a hawk approaches you with a certain request, POINT them at him and say, "I'll knit anything longer than THIS." That should slow them down.

If you would like some extra holiday money however, I know some shops in the W. Village that would love some, in Cashmere, no less.

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